New World of Social Collaboration


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Today we are witnessing fundamental shifts in enterprises and societies. Four computing megatrends— cloud computing, the proliferation of mobile devices, Big Data, and pervasive social features in applications—are increasing employee engagement, improving team collaboration, and enhancing business agility. These trends facilitate new work scenarios in which it’s easier than ever for workers to collaborate to do their work. The business and IT benefits of these trends are concrete, measurable, and significant, and they’re driving the next generation of enterprise computing.

Microsoft has a complete, deeply integrated set of enabling technologies that can help your organization get the most out of social collaboration. Download this paper which includes four example scenarios that highlight these enabling technologies and show how to use them in a virtual, distributed workplace to share knowledge, get connected, work together, and enhance learning. These examples relate a day in the life of four people who use technologies that cater to different communication styles and let people rapidly shift between them as their needs change.

At Microsoft, we use our own collaboration tools and technologies to complete significant work. This paper is an example. An ad hoc group of about 70 people distributed globally across Microsoft used social collaboration technologies and gamification techniques to create this paper.

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New World of Social Collaboration

  1. 1. A Microsoft Enterprise Strategy Program An Enterprise Strategy Program paper Paper The new world of social collaboration Enabling new ways to work in the enterprise Abstract This paper discusses cultural, technological, business and industry trends that are driving social collaboration in the enterprise. It describes the Microsoft vision for enhancing collaboration and increasing responsiveness and agility by leveraging social collaboration tools and principles. It also depicts common business scenarios that illustrate how enterprises can gain value by embracing social collaboration. Author(s) Marc Ashbrook, Enterprise Strategy, Intellectual Property Development Architect, Microsoft Corporation David Parsons, CATM Specialist, EPG, Microsoft Corporation Rick Seeger, Associate Consultant, MCS, Microsoft Corporation Bryan Bolling, Senior Premier Field Engineer, ESS, Microsoft Corporation Eric van Uum, Enterprise Architect, MCS, Microsoft Corporation Publication date December 2012 Version 1.0 We welcome your feedback on this paper. Please send your comments to the Microsoft Services Enterprise Architecture IP team at
  2. 2. The new world of social collaboration Enabling new ways to work in the enterprise Acknowledgments The authors would like to thank the following people who contributed to, reviewed, and helped improve this whitepaper. Contributors and Reviewers Eve Enslow and the Enterprise Content team, EPG Audience Marketing, Microsoft Corporation Srinivasa Sivakumar, Enterprise Architect, MCS, Microsoft Corporation David Slight, Sr. Director Business Strategy, Enterprise Strategy, Microsoft Corporation Bob Yates, Enterprise Architect, MCS, Microsoft Corporation Ingeborg Struijk, Architect, MCS, Microsoft Corporation Jos Verlinde, Senior Consultant, MCS, Microsoft Corporation Bart Bischoff, Director Program Management, MCS, Microsoft Corporation Tomofumi Ueno, Architect, MCS, Microsoft Corporation Roger Chappé de Léonval, Enterprise Architect, Microsoft Corporation Surinder Virk, Senior Consultant II, MCS, Microsoft Corporation Chris Gideon, Architect, MCS, Microsoft Corporation Vineet Rajput, Enterprise Architect, MCS, Microsoft Corporation Linda Chandler, Enterprise Architect, MCS, Microsoft Corporation Ian Hoyle, Enterprise Architect, MCS, Microsoft Corporation Joseph Starwood, Enterprise Architect, MCS, Microsoft Corporation Christophe Fiessinger, Sr. Product Mktg Mgr, SharePoint, Microsoft Corporation Page ii
  3. 3. The new world of social collaboration Enabling new ways to work in the enterprise The information contained in this document represents the current view of Microsoft Corporation on the issues discussed as of the date of publication. Because Microsoft must respond to changing market conditions, it should not be interpreted to be a commitment on the part of Microsoft, and Microsoft cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information presented after the date of publication. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS, IMPLIED OR STATUTORY, AS TO THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT. Complying with all applicable copyright laws is the responsibility of the user. Without limiting the rights under copyright, no part of this document may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), or for any purpose, without the express written permission of Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft may have patents, patent applications, trademarks, copyrights, or other intellectual property rights covering subject matter in this document. Except as expressly provided in any written license agreement from Microsoft, the furnishing of this document does not give you any license to these patents, trademarks, copyrights, or other intellectual property. The descriptions of other companies’ products in this document, if any, are provided only as a convenience to you. Any such references should not be considered an endorsement or support by Microsoft. Microsoft cannot guarantee their accuracy, and the products may change over time. Also, the descriptions are intended as brief highlights to aid understanding, rather than as thorough coverage. For authoritative descriptions of these products, please consult their respective manufacturers. © 2012 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Any use or distribution of these materials without express authorization of Microsoft Corp. is strictly prohibited. Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners. Page iii
  4. 4. The new world of social collaboration Enabling new ways to work in the enterprise Table of contents 1 Executive summary ..................................................................................................................................... 1 2 Microsoft vision of social collaboration .................................................................................................. 2 3 Business motivations .................................................................................................................................. 4 4 Key trends driving social collaboration ................................................................................................... 5 5 Enabling social collaboration .................................................................................................................... 6 6 Key scenarios in social collaboration ....................................................................................................... 7 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 7 Share knowledge ............................................................................................................................................................. 7 Work together .................................................................................................................................................................. 9 Get connected ................................................................................................................................................................11 Accelerate learning .......................................................................................................................................................12 References and resources ........................................................................................................................ 15 Microsoft Proprietary and Confidential Information Page iv
  5. 5. The new world of social collaboration Enabling new ways to work in the enterprise 1 Executive summary Today we are witnessing fundamental shifts in enterprises and societies. Four computing megatrends— cloud computing, the proliferation of mobile devices, Big Data, and pervasive social features in applications—are increasing employee engagement, improving team collaboration, and enhancing business agility. These trends facilitate new work scenarios in which it’s easier than ever for workers to collaborate to do their work. The business and IT benefits of these trends are concrete, measurable, and significant, and they’re driving the next generation of enterprise computing. Microsoft has a complete, deeply integrated set of enabling technologies that can help your organization get the most out of social collaboration. This paper includes four example scenarios that highlight these enabling technologies and show how to use them in a virtual, distributed workplace to share knowledge, get connected, work together, and enhance learning. These examples relate a day in the life of four people who use technologies that cater to different communication styles and let people rapidly shift between them as their needs change. At Microsoft, we use our own collaboration tools and technologies to complete significant work. This paper is an example. An ad hoc group of about 70 people distributed globally across Microsoft used social collaboration technologies and gamification techniques to create this paper. Page 1
  6. 6. The new world of social collaboration Enabling new ways to work in the enterprise 2 Microsoft vision of social collaboration Throughout the world, we’re seeing value creation and consumption shifting from individuals to the collective, organizing structures moving from closed hierarchies to open networks, task coordination evolving from top down to bottom up, and knowledge transfer shifting from a linear distribution to dynamic participation. In this new world of social collaboration, organizations are re-examining how they operate and are seeking ways to capitalize on the new efficiencies of agility and robustness. These efficiencies can be gained by sharing knowledge, working together, accelerating learning, and providing a connected experience that empower groups of people to get things done. Participation and sharing are vitally important for any enterprise that wants to maintain its collective memory. Participation must be simple and rewarding, with embedded social gestures that ebb and flow throughout the systems that people use every day. Social collaboration should be more than just a place where one goes to be social; it should be part of the daily working environment. By providing insightful awareness, gratifying participation, and preserving communal knowledge, social collaboration helps individuals enhance their experience and enables the organization to create an embedded culture of sharing. When social collaboration is deeply embedded in services and applications, the line between consuming and creating blurs, and Share becomes the new Save. To enable people with similar interests to find each other, easily form affiliations, and work toward common goals, Microsoft is creating experiences that draw people in and encourage them to cross geographic and organizational boundaries to get things done. We’re building social experiences that help people easily create groups in which disparate social exchanges are transformed into a contained, persistent space. Just as individuals manage and cultivate identities, groups will have identities that can be created, shaped, and discovered. Group communications, whether asynchronous or in real time, will be natural, fluid, and integrated, providing a seamless and connected experience, regardless of application, device, or location. Social collaboration also puts people at the center of computing and ensures that employees, partners, and customers can connect with the right people and information. To realize our vision, we’re taking a two-pronged approach: providing the connected experiences that 1 people want and the connected platform that IT needs . Connected experiences. We believe that social computing should be a natural part of how we work and seamlessly woven into the tools that people use every day. Social must be easy, frictionless, and contextual. For example, during a conversation in a newsfeed, it should be easy to escalate into a private instant message in which adding voice and video is frictionless. Seamlessly integrated tools should let participants follow up via Page 2
  7. 7. The new world of social collaboration Enabling new ways to work in the enterprise email and circle back to the original conversation with updates, all while the conversational context follows them across each tool, regardless of where they are or what device they have with them. Connected platform. Social computing must be integrated into a connected platform that IT can confidently rely on to manage and secure the information and experiences that it provides. Information in social networks is valuable intellectual property, so the platform must have sophisticated security, management, and compliance capabilities that let IT provide the connected experiences that people need without getting in their way. A social fabric connects these experiences and the platform over which they flow. To provide this fabric, we acquired Yammer and are integrating the unique capabilities of Yammer, SharePoint, and Office to provide a seamlessly connected experience that people will love. The peoplecentric paradigm of Yammer and the document-centric models of SharePoint and Office is a powerful and complementary combination. Today, Yammer and SharePoint are connected through Web Parts and Open Graph capabilities. We’re developing deeper connections between the three that will involve integrated document management and feed aggregation, plus unified identity. We’re also taking advantage of our new 90-day release cycle for SharePoint Online and Office 365 to add new capabilities that will let us provide connected experiences that combine social, collaboration, messaging, and unified 2 communications. It's an exciting time in enterprise computing. We’re convinced that social collaboration will play a key role in everyone’s future. It will transform daily work—how we all manage customer relationships, analyze data, make decisions, finish projects, share content, discover people and information, and create relationships between people and things. Integrating social aspects into all of these activities makes work more enjoyable, efficient, and innovative. Providing a platform on which these connected experiences happen regardless of place and device will transform personal computing into interpersonal computing. Social collaboration will shift the focus of technology to human interactions and interdependencies. We believe that an organization that provides these connected experiences will transform itself into a pervasively social enterprise in which groups of people work together seamlessly, easily, and enjoyably to get things done. Page 3
  8. 8. The new world of social collaboration Enabling new ways to work in the enterprise 3 Business motivations Enhancing employee engagement is a natural way in which social collaboration can have a positive impact on an organization. An engaged employee is fully involved in and enthusiastic about their work and will further their organization’s interests. A recent Gallup Consulting study (see Figure 1) shows that organizations that have engaged employees experience 18 percent higher productivity, 16 percent higher profitability, and 51 percent lower employee 3 turnover than companies that have disengaged employees. Figure 1: Employee engagement benefits However, according to HR consultancy Aon Hewitt, 42 percent of workers globally in 2011 were somewhat 4 or completely disengaged in their work, and employees’ motivation to exert extra effort fell short. Social collaboration can increase employee engagement and drive a new way of working by connecting employees across the organization and the world. The McKinsey Global Institute found that “by fully implementing social technologies, companies have an opportunity to raise the productivity of interaction 5 workers—high-skill knowledge workers, including managers and professionals—by 20 to 25 percent.” Organizations in which teams collaborate effectively tend to be more innovative and 66 percent of CIOs at top-performing organizations see collaboration as a 6 key to innovation. However, most teams are overwhelmed by the amount of time, effort, and stress it takes to collaborate. Collaboration is complicated and stressful because team members often work across different locations, departments, organizations, countries, and cultures, which can require meetings at odd hours for some participants. Social collaboration helps overcome these challenges by enabling team members to share knowledge easily, work on documents simultaneously, and communicate with remote team members, contractors, partners, or clients—whenever, wherever, and on whatever device they find most convenient. Finding new opportunities, adapting to new markets, and changing direction quickly is crucial to businesses today. Business agility increases revenue, drives customer satisfaction, and transforms an organization within the marketplace. Figure 2: Why the ability to change is important Organizations that have the most success in business transformation have an intense focus on culture, communication, and especially people. The most important element in workplace agility is the worker and their ability to embrace change. Organizations that can’t change will suffer from a decline in employee engagement and experience 7 unwanted employee turnover. In a recent survey, 75 percent of HR professionals said that employee 8 resistance and communication breakdowns are obstacles during major organizational changes. Social collaboration helps organizations to become and remain agile by improving communication, giving information workers the answers they need, helping them collaborate with other employees and partners, and updating them about business objectives. Page 4
  9. 9. The new world of social collaboration Enabling new ways to work in the enterprise 4 Key trends driving social collaboration As we consider what’s happening in the world today and listen to our customers, we see a series of significant technology trends across a wide range of disciplines creating the conditions for rapid progress and change. As these technology trends converge with important social and business trends, they will create the foundation for breakthroughs that will transform the role that technology plays in our lives. Table 1: Four megatrends driving social collaboration Megatrend Description With its massive datacenters, cloud computing will deliver almost infinite resources, and provide the storage capacity and processing power to tackle some of the world’s toughest problems. It will provide a platform for orchestrating the flow of information and technology across our lives so that we always have instant access to the tools and information that we need. We will increasingly be connected to people, information, services and applications. This increased connectivity will liberate the information that we’ve created ourselves and unlock information from any source that might be relevant to where we are and what we are trying to accomplish. The immense number of digital devices in our world is driving an explosion of data. Deep analysis of this vast trove of data is enabling computers to begin to understand the physical world, anticipate our needs, and understand our intentions. Deriving better insights from Big Data is helping organizations become more agile and responsive. Social computing will undergo a dramatic transformation as technical advances make it possible to integrate our social lives more deeply and seamlessly into every aspect of our digital lives. Information from our social networks can provide insights to guide us in the real world and our digital world. We are directly experiencing these megatrends at Microsoft, and we’re not alone in our belief of their importance. According to IDC, “Neither vendors nor IT users can really afford any longer to be just watching, studying, exploring, or experimenting with cloud services, mobile devices, social technologies, rd or the other core elements of the 3 platform. In 2013, they must develop deep competence in all of rd these technologies, and align with the emerging—and radically different—‘rules’ of the 3 Platform 9 marketplace.” These megatrends are happening simultaneously and are highly interconnected. Unlike during previous major shifts in technology, where there was one predominant trend, today’s shift requires that organizations must address all four trends simultaneously. Gartner reports, “In the Nexus of Forces, information is the context for delivering enhanced social and mobile experiences. Mobile devices are a platform for effective social networking and new ways of work. Social links people to their work and each other in new and unexpected ways. Cloud enables delivery of information and functionality to users and systems. The forces of the Nexus are intertwined to create a user-driven ecosystem of modern 10 computing.” Microsoft has reinvented and evolved our core business strategies in response to these four megatrends. Our recent investments in devices leverage the mobility trend. We’ve made the bold commitment to design for the cloud first, and we’ve built some of the most efficient datacenters in the world. We’re also making huge new investments in social computing and bringing it to the fore across our entire productivity suite. Page 5
  10. 10. The new world of social collaboration Enabling new ways to work in the enterprise 5 Enabling social collaboration Microsoft provides a portfolio of systems and applications that enable timesaving collaborative experiences. This section discusses key enabling technologies in common collaboration scenarios in enterprises. Developing content collaboratively is a key capability in enterprises. Microsoft Office provides co-authoring capabilities that can greatly accelerate content creation by enabling two or more people to work on the same document, presentation, spreadsheet, or notebook at the same time. In Microsoft Office, you can see who else is editing the document and which sections they’re working in. You never need to worry about locking files Figure 3: Co-authoring in Word and merging conflicting changes or renaming a file with a new version number because Microsoft Office is designed for collaboration. Communicating in real time is also a key capability that enables people to collaborate effectively. Although there are many different ways to communicate, Microsoft Lync integrates these various channels and creates a seamless experience when switching between them. One of the most powerful capabilities is the ability to perform “one-click” communication directly from whatever environment you happen to be using at the time. For example, you could be participating in a discussion within a forum and decide to initiate a real-time IM chat by using the people card to start a private Figure 4: One-click in Lync conversation. Adding voice, video, content sharing, whiteboard sharing, and even other people to your conversation is only a click away. Not only can your conversations transcend communication forms, they can also flow from device to device seamlessly. You might start a conversation on your PC, switch to your smartphone while traveling to the local coffee shop, and finish your discussion from your tablet while sipping your latte. Regardless of communication preference, application, device, or location, Lync makes communicating in a social collaboration environment natural and seamless. “Following” whatever interests you is another key capability in a collaborative environment. You might want to follow a person you’re working with, a document you’re creating collaboratively, a hash tag you’re interested in, a community site you’re involved with, or a page with system status updates that you’re monitoring. With Yammer and Microsoft SharePoint, you can follow not only the people and things that interest you but also quickly find answers to questions and discover experts you never knew existed. These social platforms also automatically make recommendations about whom or what you might want to follow, based on your pattern of interests. Figure 5: Following in SharePoint Page 6
  11. 11. The new world of social collaboration Enabling new ways to work in the enterprise 6 Key scenarios in social collaboration The following scenarios describe how enterprise workers commonly use the latest social collaboration technologies to share knowledge, work together, get connected, and accelerate learning. 6.1 Share knowledge In a typical organization, knowledge that could be useful to many people is locked away in the minds, email folders, private distribution lists and shared drives of a few people—in separate silos of information. Even when this knowledge is captured and preserved it is not often easy to find, so it must be created again by other knowledge workers. This duplication of effort costs organizations valuable time and resources. Social collaboration can help an organization break down these silos and share this tacit knowledge by providing an open platform and environment that fosters interaction amongst people. The social capabilities in the Microsoft combined platform make it easier than ever to share information through groups and newsfeeds, ask questions and find answers in communities, and locate experts based on the content they create. Social collaboration takes the effort out of making knowledge and people discoverable. Social collaboration enables enterprises to: ▪ ▪ ▪ Quickly surface the expertise of people and their knowledge, through identifying tacit knowledge across the organization and using it to identify experts. Improve the quality of knowledge through crowd sourcing and socially enabled peer reviews. Dissolve information silos among departments and spread knowledge through the enterprise by enabling people to search and connect easily. Social platforms enable IT organizations to: ▪ Protect critical data by storing it in a location that complies with business policy. ▪ Streamline legal discovery. ▪ Reduce IT operation costs by using common tools. A day in the life Meet Rob Caron, a sales executive at Contoso, a regional energy company. His job is to lead and inspire his organization, maintain healthy profits for his business, and help Contoso win new customers. Rob’s team is working on a proposal for a potential customer that wants to know if Contoso has any experience in the field of green thermal energy. Rob begins to search on the Contoso community portal to find Contoso employees who might have experience in renewable thermal energy. Rob finds a Contoso community focused on the topic of renewable energy, and he opens the community’s site. He immediately sees how large and active the community is, how new and relevant its discussions are, and identifies its top contributors. Page 7
  12. 12. The new world of social collaboration Enabling new ways to work in the enterprise Rob introduces himself to the community and describes the proposal he’s working on. He asks if anyone has worked on thermal energy initiatives for a company like his potential customer. Rob also decides to see if anything like what he’s been looking for has been posted elsewhere at Contoso. He searches for “green thermal decks,” and the intelligent search engine understands his intent and displays key items related to Microsoft PowerPoint presentations about green thermal energy. Rob can preview, like and comment on these items directly within the search results to explain why they’re useful to him. Rob finds a Contoso video about thermal energy that might be interesting to his customer. By hovering over the video with his cursor, Rob sees a hover card that shows who’s in it, who posted it, and what it’s about. From the hover card, he can view the video, follow updates to it, and share a link to it. Figure 6: Community information Rob finds that Contoso has looked into green thermal energy before. By clicking Conversations on the toolbar and sorting, he finds discussions about green thermal in several Contoso communities. He can see the topic of each post, who posted it when, and how many replies and likes it received. When he places his cursor over a post, a hover card displays the original post, the number of responses and likes, the best reply, and a link to the discussion. Figure 7: Search results Page 8
  13. 13. The new world of social collaboration Enabling new ways to work in the enterprise Rob filters by Author on the posts. One author is Stefan Hesse. By viewing Stefan’s reputation score and the many conversations he’s had about green thermal energy, Rob quickly identifies him as one of Contoso’s resident experts on the subject. He hovers over Stefan’s name, and from the resulting people card, he sends Stefan an instant message. He’s in luck - Stefan has deep experience in working with renewable thermal energy companies and Rob invites him to work on his proposal. Through his process of searching, posting questions in a community, reviewing previous conversations, and determining and talking with experts, Rob has found the knowledge and the expertise he needs to finish a strong proposal. Rob’s team wins the bid, and Stefan becomes the leader of the team that will work with Contoso’s new customer. 6.2 Work together Breaking down organizational silos and getting people from different parts of a company to interact used to be difficult technically and socially. But people increasingly use collaboration tools in their personal lives that make it easier to connect and interact with a diverse set of people. Many principles of public social networks are also applicable in business-to-business (B2B) collaboration. Social collaboration can connect people across organizational, physical, cultural, generational, and geographic boundaries and prevent communications bottlenecks. Social collaboration enables enterprises to: ▪ Empower their employees to easily and effortlessly share knowledge and be innovative across organizational, physical, cultural, generational, and geographic boundaries. ▪ Help people work together in joint ventures and bring partners and suppliers into discussions to increase innovation. ▪ Free employee time by automatically creating contextual metadata about the content they’re creating. Social collaboration enable IT organizations to: ▪ Increase sharing and communication in a trustworthy computing environment. ▪ Provide a single logon that permits access to a roaming profile to ensure that the same secured information is available across any device. ▪ Use a common user-based management approach, which simplifies the task of securing information and analyzing data use. A day in the life Meet Sara Davis, a manager in the Contoso marketing department. She’s working with a distributed virtual team to create a presentation to market a new product that Contoso will release in a few months. Like any project team, members of her virtual team must assign tasks, communicate with each other, and make decisions to complete the project on time. However, unlike project teams that are physically collocated, Sara’s is a distributed virtual team that uses social collaboration and gamification techniques to help complete the project. They use social collaboration to virtually pull together team members across many departments and locations at Contoso and they use gamification to motivate and direct their work. Page 9
  14. 14. The new world of social collaboration Enabling new ways to work in the enterprise Sara starts her day by checking for any discussion posts from the team. Because of the integration between SharePoint, Outlook, and her Windows Phone, she can not only see new posts as they come in but also participate in posts from anywhere and at any time. This morning, while having her first cup of coffee, Sara responds to a few discussion topics from team members in other countries who were active while she slept. During her train ride into the city, Sara continues to work from her mobile device and notices a new challenge has been created for the team. This new challenge asks for ideas about what product features they should highlight in the demo. The team has created an Ideation list where members can post entries and comment on the posts that others have entered. From her phone, she submits a few ideas as her train pulls into the station. Figure 8: Mobile SharePoint When Sara arrives at her office, she returns to the ideation challenge to begin voting on the ideas submitted. She has a question about an idea that Chris Johnson submitted. By hovering over his name, she can view his contact card and initiate a conversation via phone, IM, or email. Because of integrated presence in SharePoint, she sees that Chris is available and uses IM to ask him a question. After a few minutes, they both realize that they need more than text to communicate about this idea. With one click, they switch to a voice and video conversation. They soon appreciate that others on the team would also benefit from this conversation, so they begin recording it and later post as an attachment to the idea. During their conversation, they use a virtual whiteboard and invite a few others to join them to help them fully define and understand the idea. Later that day, Sara reviews changes that team members made to the content. They’re using a shared PowerPoint presentation to co-create their content. Sara sees that a few team members are still editing the presentation. She quickly reviews the comments that people have added. She finds it easy to follow the discussion because of the threaded comments, which resemble their discussions in their team site. Figure 9: Threaded comments That evening, before leaving for the day, Sara conducts a meeting with the stakeholders of the project to update them on their progress. Just like the virtual team that is creating this content, the stakeholders work and live in many places throughout the world, so she uses a Lync conference call to conduct her meeting. She’s able to keep this update short because the team has created a dashboard on the team site where the stakeholders can easily view the progress of the team and answer any questions or complete tasks the team has for them. On her way home, Sara continues to connect to her virtual and distributed team using mobile applications that enable her to work anywhere. Through working together, her team is able to connect and share in real time, which makes her life easier and more productive. Page 10
  15. 15. The new world of social collaboration Enabling new ways to work in the enterprise 6.3 Get connected Social collaboration enables people to stay up-to-date on information that they care about, get to know each other, share important information, and connect to organizational systems and services. Just as someone can follow a person, they can follow a system and receive updates about its status and activities. Social connections break down silos and enable connections in an organization so that regardless of location or device, people can spend more time working and being productive. Social collaboration enables enterprises to: ▪ Provide a platform for making connections among information workers regardless of location, time, or device. ▪ Enable a work force acquired after an acquisition or merger to integrate and connect quickly. ▪ Empower people to share their challenges with a wide group of people and allow comments and assistance from new sources. Social collaboration enable IT organizations to: ▪ Ensure that information communicated over internal social networks is secure and complies with central IT policies. ▪ Build new social applications that bring important information from line-of-business (LOB) systems. ▪ Provide a single view of the people in an organization and bring together identity-based information from many different sources. A day in the life Meet Garth Fort, a project manager at Contoso. He’s just launched a first-ever global campaign and wants to engage with people across the company to learn how to improve future campaigns. He uses social collaboration not only within his virtual team, but also to engage the larger Contoso community. Today, he starts the day by browsing his SharePoint Newsfeed. He does this daily to keep up-to-date on people, documents, sites, systems, and conversations that he’s following. The more Garth engages in conversations, the more he finds people who have the same interests as his. As he finds people who have keen insights into marketing, he follows them. Based on its understanding of Garth’s intent, SharePoint recommends other people who have conversed about similar topics. This morning, Garth finds insightful comments by Lori Penor in his newsfeed. He sees who she’s following, and he starts following her and some of the people she’s following. He then sends Lori an email message, through the integrated presence and one-click functionality in Lync, to thank her for her contributions and to introduce himself. Figure 10: Personal Newsfeed As Garth leaves to meet with a marketing company, he grabs his Windows Phone 8 and Surface tablet, which help him stay connected and never far from the action. At the train station, he sees a poster from Page 11
  16. 16. The new world of social collaboration Enabling new ways to work in the enterprise his marketing campaign and takes a picture of it and posts it on his newsfeed. During his train ride, he checks his newsfeed and unexpectedly comes across items that spark creative ideas for the campaign. Once again, Garth can capture and post these ideas to his newsfeed so that others can comment on them. Later that afternoon, Garth is back in the office and checks his email. He sees a message from one of his employees, Wendy Richardson, which includes the results from a field study. Through the Outlook Social Connector, he sees that Wendy has also commented on his campaign and has some ideas for how to extend it. Garth clicks on her contact card within Outlook and sends her an instant message. Figure 11: Outlook Social Connector Throughout the day Garth continues to engage in conversations using various applications that enable him to work anywhere and on any device. Through social connections and people’s profiles, he can find out who they are, what they’re working on, and who they’re working with. By the end of the day, Garth has connected with many people across the organization and gained additional insights into the effectiveness of his campaign. He’s been able to share this information with his team from anywhere and from any device. 6.4 Accelerate learning Social collaboration technologies can greatly accelerate employee training. Social collaboration tools such as microblogs, wikis, and video sharing can efficiently supplement in-person classes and conferences to help employees familiarize themselves quickly on subjects they need to master and transcend challenges in the workplace. Social learning not only makes new employees more productive but also helps current employees gain the skills they need to remain competitive in a fast-changing workplace. Social collaboration enables enterprises to: ▪ Provide an easily accessed, just-in-time learning environment in which employees can familiarize themselves as quickly as they need, which shortens learning cycles. ▪ Enhance training materials with best practices from geographically dispersed locations. ▪ Help employees rapidly get to know their organizational structure and more quickly connect with their peers and direct reports. ▪ Quickly identify subject matter experts (SMEs) based on their previous work to show new employees whom they can contact for help with questions. Social collaboration enable IT organizations to: ▪ Provide better IT support through screen sharing and instant messaging. ▪ Use crowdsourcing to create and maintain frequently asked questions to reduce IT’s workload. Page 12
  17. 17. The new world of social collaboration Enabling new ways to work in the enterprise ▪ Let employees create and upload training materials directly without the involvement of IT resources. A day in the life Meet Alex Darrow, a new employee at Contoso. During his first week of employment, he’s required to attend an orientation class, at Contoso’s headquarters in Seattle Washington. This class is a great opportunity for Alex to learn about and understand Contoso, the products it sells, the customers it sells to, and the culture of its employees. In addition to helping him understand the company he’s joined, the orientation also focuses on providing him the tools and connections he's going to need. This whole week, the class uses Contoso's microblogging environment to enhance the learning experience. His instructor has created a new social group for his class to collaborate with and also gives them an overview of all the divisions at Contoso and how to connect with them. This morning, as Alex is enjoying his cup of coffee and continental breakfast at the hotel, he reads the posts of others in his class. He notices immediately that more than just his classmates are posting; others from across Contoso are joining in to ask and answer questions. He's amazed to find that he's already respected for the knowledge he brings into the company. In fact, just yesterday he answered Joe Healy, who posted a question about the details behind formatting the graphics in a banner. Because this is Alex’s specialty, he was able to provide a quick answer and link to more information during one of his breaks. Figure 12: Yammer group conversation As class starts the instructor tells them about the Contoso wiki, where anyone can create and contribute to topics of interest. This library of knowledge is vast and is constantly being updated and augmented. He sees a page about the details behind the marketing banner he helped Joe with. Alex sees an update with his answer to Joe and content from the link he provided. Shortly afterward Alex is notified about praise he Page 13
  18. 18. The new world of social collaboration Enabling new ways to work in the enterprise received from Joe in the Yammer Newsfeed. This unexpected compliment makes him feel good, and he finds himself looking for other ways to help his fellow employees. Figure 13: Praising someone in Yammer Alex notices a lot of activity in another group by employees who use video in their postings. He recently watched one from Samantha Smith, who created a 90-second video on her smartphone and posted it to the newsfeed to ask for help. Her video shows what she's looking at, explains what the issue is, and describes what she'd like the outcome to be. The amount of information that she conveyed in 90 seconds is amazing. Though she posted it just three minutes ago, Alex already sees two responses to her questions. By the end of the day, Alex has learned a lot both from his in-person orientation class and from his experiences in the Contoso social collaboration environment. He’s used the class group to discuss and clarify important topics. At the same time, he's connected with employees from around the globe as if he works side-by-side with them. He’s amazed by how connected and valuable he feels at his new job. Page 14
  19. 19. The new world of social collaboration Enabling new ways to work in the enterprise 7 References and resources This paper refers to the following sources. 1 Jared Spataro, “Putting Social to Work,” Microsoft, November 2012, 2 Jared Spataro, Jeff Teper, Scott Guthrie, and David Sacks, “SharePoint Conference 2012 Opening Keynote,” Microsoft, November 2012, 3 Gallup Consulting, “Employee Engagement, What’s your Engagement Ratio?” 2008, 4 Aon Hewitt, “2012 Trends in Global Employee Engagement,” 5 Michael Chui, James Manyika, Jacques Bughin, Richard Dobbs, Charles Roxburgh, Hugo Sarrazin, Geoffrey Sands and Magdalena Westergren, “The Social Economy,” McKinsey Global Institute, July 2012, 6 IBM, “The Essential CIO: Insights from the Global Chief Information Officer Study,” May 2011, 7 APQC, “HR’s Role in Change Management,” 8 Amanda Benedict, “2007 Change Management Survey Report,” Society for Human Resource Management, 2007, rt.pdf 9 rd Frank Gens, "IDC Predictions 2013: Competing on the 3 Platform,” IDC, November 2012, 10 Gartner, “The Nexus of Forces: Social, Mobile, Cloud and Information,” June 2012, Microsoft Enterprise: Social Enterprise, Microsoft Enterprise ITDM Conversation: The Social Enterprise, Microsoft Internal http://infopedia/Pages/socialenterprise.aspx Page 15